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Washington Township Getty Closing This Month

Longtime garage operator Ted Foundopoulos will not be sticking around when the Getty becomes a BP.

A corporate bankruptcy has brought the end of the Washington Township Getty gas station and garage. The business will be shutting its doors by February 25, according to Ted Foundopoulos, the owner.

Getty Petroluem Marketing (GPMI), the company which Foundopoulos had contracted with to operate the gas station, declared bankruptcy December 5. As a result, he lost a $58,000 security deposit on the site.

Getty Realty, a separate company from GPMI which owns the property in Washington Township, signed a 15-year lease with BP for the site and 27 other Getty gas stations in New Jersey and New York.

Foundopoulos said BP offered him the opportunity to continue running the station for 14 months once they take over, but he would have had to pay another $30,000 deposit and still only make a 2 percent commission on gas sales, about $.07 per gallon.

"I'm not going to take their deal," Foundopoulos said.

According to Foundopoulos, the problem behind the whole situation lies with the large oil companies and a lack of government regulations to protect local business owners. The companies set the gas prices, rent and hours of operation local owners must use, but pay so little to them that some owners end up making less than minimum wage after all the expenses, he said.

"They don't care," Foundopoulos said. "They just want to work you to the bone. They're looking for cheap labor. Big business, big government and big petroleum are pushing the American working guy out."

Foundopoulos also said he was disappointed the government did not protect the local business owners like himself who lost their security deposits when GPMI went bankrupt.

"There is nobody out there that is doing anything about this," Foundopoulos said.

Once the Getty closes, Foundopoulos said he plans to take a month off to think about what he will do next, while also spending more time with his family following the recent death of his father-in-law.

He hopes to find a new location.

"I have a lot of people out there who have followed me for a long time, and I am grateful to them for that," Foundopoulos said.

Still, what's next for Foundopoulos is uncertain. He is limited physically since he had back surgery last June. There's also the issue of dealing with the large oil companies which have not treated him well so far.

"You're paying for your own job," Foundopoulos said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Maureen February 06, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I DON'T THINK HE COULD HAVE HELPED TED. REALLY?? HE'S DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE TO MANY PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES. For God's sake, what are you thinking?
Common Cents February 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
The deposit should have been in an independent interest bearing account that was untouchable by anybody but Ted, unless there was a discrepency with in the lease agreement. Everybody knows the "security deposit" problems. Here is a prime example where somebody or something takes the risk of doing first and worring about the consequences later. And as usual, the legal team involved will be the only ones who make out on the deal. The bankruptcy laws are pathetic. Expecially in corporate America. The principals leave with pockets full and everybody around them suffer. Sort of like the too big to fail thing. If those could not reinvest their own monies in the company feeding them so long something is wrong. The little guy funded their lifestyle and yes they did pay back, but thier mistakes had no effect on how they lived. They never had to give up the good life while the little people lost jobs and lifestyles. Hence the law makers continue to protect their friends, the big money. Here is another prime example.
Joe Taxpayer February 10, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Bob- you seem to have all the answers on all the issues. Put your money where your mouth is and run for mayor. Maybe a little hope and change for the town ship.
Tracy Giesberg February 13, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Wow. Negative comments. Clearly you've never had your car serviced by Ted and the guys in which case you would feel completely different, no matter how it looked on the outside, which was rediculous to read. Ted was like a dad to me and so many others. I agree with 21st century, if he decides to open at another location, I'd also still support his new business. Love you Ted! Thank you for all the years of service right from the start of your career at the Getty Station <3
B@B February 21, 2013 at 05:39 PM
As Ted prepares to close up shop, I'd like to thank him once again for his many years of service to the Township and elsewhere. PLEASE keep us posted on your plans, Ted...we all look forward to your return, in whatever venue that is.

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